The goal of our Charitable Activities is to extend the work of the Heritage Fund and go beyond helping women working toward education after high school. This is achieved through grants, mentoring and special projects. We aim to help women of all ages and children who are disadvantaged because of poverty, lack of further education, and or physical and emotional challenges.
At the AGM in May the membership voted to allow the Board to award up to $10,000 in grants and donations to individuals and groups in need. Our mandate is to help girls and women with their education and, with that in mind, we started to explore possibilities. The previous September we had started to discuss the Syrian refugee situation. Many groups were collecting donations or making arrangements to adopt a family. We felt that we could not practically adopt a family and we wanted to do something that was more involving of our membership than just collecting money. We wanted to learn more. One of our members suggested an organization named Romero House and as you know, the rest is history, as they say. We gave $1000 to Romero House from our fund at the Fundraiser, Chopin and Champagne, on September 19th.As you know our fundraiser was a fabulous success and everyone who contributed their time, efforts and money should feel great pride. Apart from our discretionary donation mentioned above, we raised over $13,000 to help women and girls who are refugees with their education. www.romerohouse.org.
We also decided that another of our priorities would be to investigate how to help with indigenous education. We already helped a wonderful student, Lindsey, from Iqaluit, with her expenses. She studies in Ottawa.
We decided to continue to help Lindsey until she finishes her education and to help another Iqaluit student, Mary, with the same arrangement. Both of these girls were recommended by their high school. They each receive $1500 a term.
The remaining money is being donated to Indspire, an organization dedicated to the education of indigenous people. The students are chosen by a jury, formed by the organization. Our money will go to girls and women who have been selected by this jury. Our donation of $4500 will be matched dollar for dollar by the Federal Government. You can go to the website www.indspire.ca to see the work they do.
We are confident that this money, our $10,000, is being put to good use and is given in the spirit you intended in allowing us to make these decisions on your behalf.
Emily Ann Niego, our new Iqaluit bursary winner
I am athletic and love to play any sport. I am very interested in my culture and language, but unfortunately don’t know much them because I moved from family to family. During high school, I was determined to teach myself about my culture, so with each project, I made the topics something related to my culture.
I volunteered around the community, helping to coach the Arqsarniit Middle School soccer team, plus played volleyball on Team Nunavut during the Arctic Winter Games
During my school years, I was involved in Student Council as a class representative, and was awarded female athlete of the year, 3 years in a row. One award I was very happy to receive was the Annie Nauyuk Perseverance Award given to me in 2016.
I am attending the Community Studies Program at Algonquin College, because my future goals are to help my community in the way it helped me. I would love to give back to the elders and the youth. I would like to come back with much more knowledge on how to help change my community for the better. I would like to be an example, a role model, to be kind and be happy.
Emily Ann Niego
Student Bursary Winner, Iqaluit, Nunavut
In September 2015, Lindsey, a graduate of Inukshuk High School in Iqaluit,enrolled in a General Arts and Science program at Algonquin College in Pembroke. Lindsey’s teachers in Iqaluit described her as the picture of perseverance. She worked hard to achieve her goals, maintaining good marks while taking an active role as a varsity athlete. She played both basketball and volleyball for Inukshuk school teamsand represented Nunavut in the 2014 Arctic Winter Games.In 2015, we supported her with a grant of $3,000.InSeptember 2016, she enrolled in a 3-year course in biotechnology at Algonquin College in Ottawa, and impressed with her performance, we happily supported her again with another bursary of $3,000.
A Heartfelt Letter from Lindsey Eelee
First off I would like to thank the members of UWC for encouraging me and giving me this scholarship to help me while I go to school.I would like to give a special thank you to Judith Lewis because throughout this school year we have stayed in constant contact and she encourages and believes in me.
Currently I am taking the Advanced Biotechnology program at Algonquin College at the Ottawa campus. The Biotechnology program is three years and at the end of the program graduates will receive an advanced diploma. I decided to go to Algonquin College instead of staying in Iqaluit so that I would be able to grow independently as a person.
So far, I have successfully rented an apartment by myself and paid rent with the help of government funding and the UWC bursary. So far this bursary has helped me to buy furniture for my apartment and pay bills during my stay in Ottawa. After the Biotechnology program I would like to become a commercial pilot. It has always been my dream to fly and one day I hope that I could achieve that dream.
Outside of school, I like to spend my time with friends and play the guitar. My friends here in Ottawa encourage me to do my best in school and push me to do my best while at the same time making my stay here memorable.
Going to Algonquin College has been the experience of my lifetime. I am so glad that I have this opportunity to go to school and further my studies. Thank you for your continued help and appreciation.
Second Iqaluit Student Bursary Winner – 2016
Mary Jackson, youngest of ten children, is this year’s winner of the UWC – Toronto bursary for Inuit students pursuing post-secondary education. Her school speaks with glowing praise of her hard work and leadership qualities. She will be pursuing her studies at Algonquin College, to obtain an Associate in Accounting Certificate. She plans to return to Iqaluit to work in a local company and to continue to contribute to her community.Iqaluit is situated at the far end of Frobisher Bay, on Baffin Island. The day (mid July) I spoke to her to let her know of her award, the temperature was seven degrees. Life hasn’t always been easy for Mary. She briefly dropped out of school and started working. But she soon realized that working retail was not going to allow her to raise a family of her own and afford a reasonable lifestyle some day. Although the government assists Iqaluit students, going to post-secondary education is still a very expensive venture. Just think of the travelling costs alone. Our bursary will help her with these costs and other costs such as books and supplies.We wish her every success and commit to supporting her on her educational journey.
Thank you letters from Indspire
Our children are the future, and carry with them a great potential to lead this country. As Canada’s fastest growing demographic group, Indspire youth hold particular promise but they need your support! Thanks to the generosity of donors like UWC, we are building brighter futures for more indigenous youth every year. Thank you!Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO Indspire,
Across Canada, everyone has a remarkable opportunity to do something truly incredible – to help close the gap in Indigenous achievement through education. We are thrilled by your investment in the ‘Building Brighter Futures’ program to support indigenous youth pursuing their post-secondary education. The University Women’s Club of Toronto’s investment in Indigenous youth across Canada will encourage and empower them, converting their ambitions and aspirations into solid achievement and brighter futures. Your commitment is sending a clear message that every child should be given that chance to succeed and for that we thank you.
Paul Klein, CFRE, Director, Individual Giving, Indspire.